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New nicotine inhaler available for GPs to prescribe

A first-of-its-kind nicotine inhaler medicine provides a new option for health professionals to prescribe or recommend to patients who want to stop smoking.

Voke offers a new alternative for people who want to stop smoking (Photo: Sezeryadigar/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Voke offers a new alternative for people who want to stop smoking (Photo: Sezeryadigar/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Smoking is now the biggest cause of preventable death in the UK.

It accounts for almost 80,000 deaths each year in England alone1 and despite a decline in the proportion of adults (aged 16 and over) who smoke, recent statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there are still over seven million smokers in the UK.2 Between 2017 and 2018 there were an estimated 489,300 hospital admissions attributable to smoking.3

According to NICE, every £1 spent on smoking cessation saves £10 in future health care costs.4 There are many nicotine replacement therapies available but it is clear that there is still much more to do to help people quit smoking. Finding the right treatment that suits an individual’s need can be difficult.

Using innovative technology, the recently launched product Voke offers a new alternative for people who want to stop smoking.

Voke

Voke is licensed as a medicine by the MHRA as a safer alternative to smoking. It is the first product from Kind Consumer, a healthcare research and development company focused on inhalation technologies.

For more information visit www.voke.com

This article was initiated, funded and reviewed by Kind Consumer for GP Connect

What is Voke?

Voke is licensed as a medicine by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as a safer alternative to smoking.5 The product is also indicated in pregnant and lactating women attempting to quit, a demographic where smoking prevalence is currently at 10.6%, exceeding the 6% national target.3

Unlike e-cigarettes Voke does not rely on heat or burn to disperse the nicotine into the body, and there is no vapour. Voke delivers nicotine to the body in a similar way to an asthma inhaler.

The inhaler technology, known as Vapourless Valve Technology, enables the low dose of nicotine to be inhaled into the lungs where it is absorbed straight into the arterial system and then delivered to the nicotine receptors in the brain, providing similar craving relief to a traditional cigarette, but without the same harmful effects. It also mimics a traditional cigarette through its packaging and administration.

Voke differs from other nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), which deliver nicotine either via the buccal mucosa or the skin.

Range of medicines available

GP Dr Roger Henderson said: 'As a doctor, I see many patients who are struggling to quit smoking through existing means, this is particularly pertinent for pregnant women. In some areas of the UK, over one fifth of mums-to-be are still smokers at the time of labour. Something desperately needs to change; having a range of medicines available for these smokers to use to help them in their journey to quit is vital, particularly for pregnant smokers.'

Voke can be prescribed as an aid to smoking cessation or reduction, or can be purchased directly from voke.com by patients at a cost of £11.99 for a single pack, comparable to a pack of cigarettes.

References

  1. NHS. Effects of smoking on the body: Smokefree. (2019). Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/why-quit/smoking-health-problems. (Accessed: 18 November 2019)
  2. Office for National Statistics. Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2018. Published July 2019. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/bulletins/adultsmokinghabitsingreatbritain/2018
  3. NHS. Statistics on Smoking, England. Published July 2019. Available at: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-smoking/statistics-on-smoking-england-2019. (Accessed: 18 November 2019)
  4. Local Government Association and Cancer Research UK. Tobacco control: How do you know that your council is doing all it can to reduce smoking-related harm? Published July 2019.
  5. Summary of Product Characteristics. Voke 0.45 mg Inhaler. (2014).

Product Information: Voke 0.45mg Inhaler Presentation: Each charge contains approx. 0.45 mg nicotine equivalent to a delivered dose of 0.43 mg nicotine.  Each pack provides approx. 20 charges of the stick device. Voke is indicated to aid smokers (18+) wishing to quit or reduce prior to quitting, to assist smokers who are unwilling or unable to smoke, and as a safer alternative to smoking for smokers and those around them. Voke is indicated in pregnant and lactating women making a quit attempt. Information about this product, including adverse reactions, precautions, contra-indications and method of use can be found at www.Voke.com. Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. Adverse events should also be reported to Kind Consumer Ltd. Legal classification: GSL. Licence holder: Kind Consumer Ltd. 79 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1R 5AR. Date of revision of text: October 2019.

Initiated, funded and reviewed by Kind Consumer
KCNP02919
Date of preparation: December 2019

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